By Karen McPartland, RD
Then, minimize telomere shortening! Now, you are probably wondering what a telomere is…Telomeres are sections of DNA at the end of each chromosome that serve as a “cap” to our genetic material. Every time a cell replicates, its telomere will become shorter; eventually causing cell death (once the telomere has reached a critical length). Shorter telomeres have been associated with metabolic abnormalities, obesity, cardiovascular disease, dementia and cancer. Therefore, slowing the loss of telomere length may slow aging and age-related disease.
So, how can you “lengthen” your telomeres? Studies are ongoing, but a recent study in The Lancet Oncology reported that men with early stage prostate cancer who improved their lifestyle by exercising daily, eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grains and who worked on stress reduction through mediation and yoga, were able to lengthen their telomeres by 10% in five years. So, find ways to be active every day, manage your stress and eat minimally processed foods!